The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which acts as a watchdog for the aviation industry, has made some important modifications to the regulations regarding Flight Duty Time Limitations (FDTL) for flight crew members in an effort to improve work culture and increase flight safety.
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Changes Made in the Rest Period
As per the updated flight duty time regulations released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on January 8, airline pilots will now get an additional week of rest.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation’s official statement
“In order to ensure adequate time for recovery from cumulative fatigue, the revised regulations mandate increased weekly rest periods for flight crew from 36 hours to 48 hours,” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation stated in a statement.
A pilot’s maximum flying hours are determined by DGCA regulations. It also discusses things like the time spent relaxing in between flights. Pilot unions in India have expressed worries about excessive work hours, insufficient rest, and exhaustion. They had even filed a lawsuit to challenge the accepted practices and demand a change.
In November 2023, a draft of new regulations was released for comments and suggestions. Today, the updated standards were made public. Airlines have until June 1st to abide by the new guidelines.
Scindia stated that the CARs had been reevaluated in relation to pilot tiredness concerns in a recent interview with PTI.
In order to ensure that pilot fatigue meets international standards, we are implementing new regulations that will take into account the early sunrise in our region. Rather than looking at the nighttime hours from 0100 to 0500 hours as is typically the case, we will now be looking at 1100 to 1200 hours to 0500 hours.
“We are looking to expanding that period, which is going to be the night shift period, thereby putting a much more facilitative regime for pilots,” he stated.
In addition, the minister stated that the regulator wants to guarantee 48 hours of sleep instead of just 36.
A senior DGCA official stated in December that the regulator had gotten a lot of feedback regarding the CAR revisions.
It was suggested, among other things, that an airline make sure a pilot receives a minimum of 48 hours of uninterrupted rest every week, which includes two local nights, and that there is never a gap of more than 168 hours between the end of one weekly rest period and the beginning of the next.
Contributed Ankit raj Sharma